All Hail King Orange
In my youth around New Year’s, I would run around screaming, “King Orange”. I guess I just found the mascot of the annual Orange Bowl college football game to be so damn adorable. I’m not even quite sure that King Orange is even his name. I’m saddened because it appears that they don’t seem to use this guy all that much anymore.
But I mean, who wouldn’t want to be ruled by an orange? Well, I guess unless it’s this guy.
First a disclaimer, when I mention Republicans or Democrats within this post, I am referring to the party leaders and elected officials representing their respective party. That’s right I said represent their party, because they sure as shit don’t represent us. Also, when I say Democrats or Republicans, I do not mean people who are registered to either of those parties (unless they happen to be the aforementioned party leaders and elected officials). I also am not referring to anyone who happens to vote for Democrats or Republicans. We, the huddled masses, are just pawns for them to move around their chess board.
And now, back to your unregularly scheduled blog post.
I am not all that upset by the outcome of the election. I had been telling people for a while that I was pretty sure Trump was going to win the election. I had joked that you shouldn’t underestimate the racist white male vote. And while it’s true that Trump secured that voting bloc, he couldn’t have won this election on the racist vote alone or even on the white vote either. This election was about SO much more. It was the American people’s cry for help.
Look at the primaries. The American people strongly supported two candidates for the major party nominations that weren’t really members of those parties. The Democrats (and remember my usage of this term) tried and succeeded in shutting out Bernie Sanders from their club. He wasn’t one of them and they weren’t going to allow him to take over their party. They did everything they could to thwart him, from ignoring and sometimes breaking their own rules, to their insistence on the use of Super Delegates to tip the scales a little. True, Sanders wouldn’t have won even if there were no Super Delegates, but when you have a complicit Media that was harping for months about Hillary Clinton’s insurmountable lead over Bernie Sanders which was largely thanks to the unbalance in Super Delegates. Simple human nature tells us that most people don’t want to back a loser, so when the primary finally rolls around to your state and the Media is saying that Sanders doesn’t have a chance of winning the nomination, do you still punch the Sanders ticket? In the end, it was easy for the Democrats to stop Sanders because they only had to stop him, all the other serious candidates for the nomination had dropped out by the beginning of February.
The Republicans had a much harder time trying to stop Donald Trump. Again, to them, he was an outsider in the same vain as Sanders was an outsider to the Democratic party. He wanted to take over their club and they weren’t going to let him. And they tried to keep him out. They OPENLY tried to stop him. Not like the Democrats, who were doing everything behind closed doors to stop Sanders, many Republicans came right out and said they wouldn’t support Trump if he won the nomination, wouldn’t endorse him. Some wanted to break off and form a new party. Some Republicans even came out and said they wouldn’t vote for him for president. And yet he won the Republican party nomination. I believe it was harder for the Republican party to get their crony nominated because there were like 30 (I don’t know I can’t count that high) legitimate candidates running for the Republican nomination. It’s hard to suppress that many potential opponents. But still they tried and they failed.
Who do I think was the Republican party’s preferred candidate? Jeb Bush. Follow the Super PAC money and it will usually show you who the establishment’s preferred candidate is. Jeb Bush raised over 126 million in Super PAC money, almost double the next highest candidate, Ted Cruz, with over 65 million. He raised over 162 million and spent almost 160 million and got less than 1% of the vote and 3 delegates. How’s that workin’ out for ya?
By the way, I don’t hate Jeb Bush. I think he is a way better politician than his older brother who got to sit in the White House twice. I even voted for him for Governor of Florida once. But could you imagine if he won the Republican nomination? It would be Bush against Clinton. What, did I wake up in 1992 again? And when either of them had won, our last 5 presidents would have been Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Bush/Clinton. That, my friends, is not a well-functioning republic.
And please, please quit calling Donald Trump a Republican. He is not. They didn’t want him and tried to do all they could to stop him. I hate it when people tell me he’s a Republican, especially the Media. It’s like saying Sanders was a Democrat. No, he isn’t. But Trump and Sanders both understood the game. These two parties have the system rigged to ensure they stay in power. In many states, it is much more difficult to get onto the ballot as a non-major party candidate. The Republicans and Democrats wrote the rules. You think they were going to make it easy for third parties to get on the ballot? So, Trump and Sanders did what they had to do and ran for the nomination of the party that was closest to their ideology. And the American people embraced them both because they were not the status quo. They were both anti-establishment, anti-status quo.
Let’s face it; the system is broken. The system works for the 1% and the rest of us get screwed. Red stater, blue stater, Republican voter, Democratic voter, liberal, conservative, independent, we all know it. For most of us, the status quo isn’t working. We want something different. We want CHANGE. Real change, any change, not words, but actions.
I happily voted for Barack Obama in 2008. What was his big promise in 2008? CHANGE. What did we get? Old Democratic party retreads. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, wife of former president Bill Clinton; Rahm Emanuel, Chief of Staff, Clinton flunky; Eric Holder, Attorney General, was Deputy Attorney General under Clinton; and a whole host of others. We, as Americans, both blue and red, expected those responsible for the 2008 financial meltdown to be held responsible. Was any one held responsible? Yeah, one guy, some small potato. I expected stuff to get done; I expected change. Obama came into office with the Democrats controlling both houses of Congress. But what did we end up getting? The status quo. WE ARE TIRED OF THE STATUS QUO. I reluctantly voted for him again in 2012. I guess I preferred his version of status quo over Mitt Romney’s version. Mr. Obama, you disappointed me. You promised me change and gave me more of the same. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…
Speaking of the status quo, that is exactly what Hillary Clinton represented. Media (and anyone else for that matter) quit trying to give excuses for why Hillary Clinton lost. It wasn’t Wikileaks, her unauthorized email server; it wasn’t because she was a woman. It wasn’t the FBI investigation, or the last-minute reinvestigation. It wasn’t due to third party candidates. Hell it wasn’t even because most Americans detest her. Or that they don’t trust her. Or that they think she’s shady. The majority of Americans also detest Donald Trump, don’t trust him, and think he’s shady. So, given the choice between two deplorable people, why did America choose Donald Trump? Because he wasn’t Hillary Clinton but more importantly, he didn’t represent the status quo.
I didn’t vote for either of them. While I liked the idea of someone running who was anti-establishment, I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for someone I didn’t respect. I also didn’t vote for Clinton because I do not respect her either. And don’t tell me I wasted my vote. It’s my vote and I’ll vote how I please.
When I was telling anyone who would listen, that I thought Trump was going to win the election, I also said that this was my preferred outcome (since the Democrats blocked my preferred candidate, Sanders). My reasoning being that if Trump was elected and turned out to be a horrible president, the Republicans might again try to keep him from getting their nomination in 2020. Or he’d just be beaten by whomever the Democrats decide to run in 2020, so long as that nominee wasn’t Hillary Clinton. On the other hand, I’m faced with the very real possibility of having Hillary Clinton and her status quo for four and very probably eight years. Trump for four years or Hillary Clinton for eight. These are my choices? Kill me now please.
Also with Trump as president, he could be gone sooner. He could die in office. Being president is a highly stressful job, and Trump doesn’t look to be in the best shape. He might get bored and resign. He might get impeached and removed from office. This last one is a very real possibility. As I’ve said over and over again, he is not a Republican. So, they have no loyalty to him. The Democrats surely are not going to do him many favors. He could make one misstep and then, BAM, both parties work together to get him removed from office. This is a win for the Republicans because they get one of their own, Mike Pence, into the White House.
There’s also the possibility that he might surprise us all and be a good president. I doubt it, but who knows?
Most people on the right would probably label me a liberal. That’s fine, I don’t run away from that label but I find the label “progressive” to be more apt. I believe in progress. Even if the status quo benefited me, I’d still want progress because we can always do better. To me progress also means floating all boats, not just the boats of the fortunate and especially not just my boat. I want all people to thrive within our country and the world. Some of my beliefs though are not strictly liberal. I believe we should balance our budget (we have plenty of money, we just spend it on the wrong things). But what I am not is a conservative. Conserve what? The underlying racism and bigotry in this country? The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? Rising health care costs? Teen suicides? Mass shootings? Crumbling infrastructure? Inequality in education? Shrinking middle-class? The status quo?
You see, the Republicans and Democrats are the same. They both want the same thing. They want to preserve the status quo. The status quo keeps them in power and lets them both live the good life.
The rest of us, we’re tired of the status quo. Maybe America is like the junkie and we have to hit rock bottom before we can recover. Maybe Donald Trump will be that low-point. The reality show president for the reality show nation. For far too long, we the people have let the foxes run the hen house. We haven’t paid enough attention to what our government officials are doing as our representatives. We, for the most part, casually follow politics and don’t understand enough how our government works, what powers the different branches of government have, the difference between city, county, state, and federal governments, etc. We allowed the Republicans and Democrats to take turns driving our car while we sat in the back and couldn’t be bothered while “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”. Meanwhile, these assholes have driven us off a cliff. You want someone to blame for Donald J. Trump becoming president? Look in the mirror. I am and I know I haven’t done enough.